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The Lonesome Puppy Hardcover – March 26, 2008


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Frequently Bought Together

The Lonesome Puppy + Oh! My God! I Miss You: 30 Postcards + Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody's Fool
Price for all three: $60.04

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (March 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811856402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811856409
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 9.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS—A noted Pop artist tries his hand at a children's book with decidedly mixed results. The slight story centers on a dog so big that he straddles the globe and is friendless because no one can actually see him. A little girl finally notices him, climbs up onto his face, and sings to him, and they become friends. "No matter how alone you are, there is always someone, somewhere, waiting to meet you. Just look and you will find them!" The artist uses many close-ups of both the dog and the girl to convey the immensity of the creature and the girl's reaction to him. The book is much more a showcase of one man's distinctive style than a coherent or interesting story. It will appeal primarily to Nara's fans or to libraries with large picture-book art collections.—Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha Public Library, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Japanese pop artist Nara, whose works often feature little girls and dogs, makes his picture-book debut in a story dedicated to physically challenged children everywhere. An enormous dog (so big that when he stands he straddles the Pacific Ocean) is lonely until a little girl notices him. Climbing up to stand on the bridge of his nose, she sings to him. The author concludes that no matter how alone you are, there is always someone, somewhere, waiting to meet you. The artwork features simple, pastel-hued figures drawn with bold strokes. Large eyes are a focal point for many of the figures, and unlike some of Nara’s other work, the spreads here appear innocent and tranquil. Young listeners may be confused because the text ends somewhat abruptly, followed by several additional illustrative spreads; but since the artwork is likely to provoke discussion, preschoolers may not even notice the lack of words. This is a quiet tale with limited appeal, but the notion of friendship as an antidote to loneliness will bring comfort to listeners who find the book. --Kay Weisman

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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The story is simple but cute and has a nice message.
Olivia M. Trevino
The illustrations are charming and it's a very light and upbeat story.
Abuela
My toddler loves to read this book before he goes to bed.
Phillip M. Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By dakota lane on August 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
i love nara's spirit and art and it is wonderful to have all his gifts close at hand. a magical and inviting book to inhabit--alone or with others who have been alone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christine Henske on November 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Lonesome Puppy is a simple story that is wonderfully illustrated. What I really like about this book though is its ability to convey a meaningful story while using simple, serene, sorta zen-like language. It's very comforting. I also like that your kid's imagination will be piqued not only by the appealing illustrations but also that the author chooses just the right amount--not too many, not too few--to tell the puppy's story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angelika Helper on March 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a design junky with toddlers. I bought this solely for myself because I love Nara's art. I used the excuse of it being a "children's book" to secure funds from my husband. Little did I know that it would be well written, have a wonderful theme, and that the illustrations would appeal to two year olds as much as to their 37 year old mother. My twin boys repeatedly ask us to read this. They have it memorized. It is a wonderful book about hope, tolerance, imagination and disability as a vehicle for growth and not hinderance. my whole family LOVES IT!!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Nara has stated that his major influences were Japanese children's illustrators who entertained him in his childhood.
I read the reviews here because I was interested to know how the story reads to a child. There is certainly much here that reads to an adult.

On one level we have a recasting of "Clifford the Big Red Dog," except Mr. Nara's dog is so big as to be unnoticeable, almost like air...and the dog is lonely (Air is a solitary thing) until he is discovered by a little girl.
This girl is one we are familiar with from the artist's oevre. In this book, Mr. Nara transforms the emotions and psychology of this little girl into palpable, knowability.
Thus, when she and the puppy come face to face the consternation upon her face is REAL! Her moment of Illumination is likewise fraught. Nara can make the expressions upon the faces of his models simultaneously canny and uncanny which explains their sometimes unnerving obliqueness.

Notes on presentation: I love how clever the layout of the book is. For instance where the little girl notices the dog the book opens on two pages that can be viewed individually or alone. In the first panel the little girl is seen approaching a giant leg and paw from the left ("But then one day..."). In the second panel the girl is looking back over her shoulder from the far right at a giant puppy's leg and paw ("a girl noticed me").
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Phillip M. Miller on October 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
My toddler loves to read this book before he goes to bed. Its been really enjoyable for our family.
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By Alisha on December 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a really adorable book for fans of Nara and other people as well. It also makes an excellent gift for a friend because it is a touching story of friendship (: I am very satisfied with this book!
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